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The rush of the rapids greeting you with a splash. Gliding serenely over a glassy clear lake. The sun warming your back as a breeze caresses your face. All of these make kayaking truly exciting no matter where you hit the water.

And yet, Calgary and the surrounding areas simply offer more. Enthusiasts from all over will tell you that kayaking serves as a great way to explore Calgary and the entire region.

Bring Yourself to the Upper Bow River (If Experienced!)

The Bow River, flowing through and beyond Banff National Park, provides a thrilling test for those who have skill and experience handling their craft. Whether kayaking or canoeing, each of the Bow River’s three areas has noted hazards, some in remote areas. 

Even experienced kayakers should bring a first aid kit and a buddy while taking an exciting journey down the Bow River.

Explore Calgary’s Downtown Vistas Between Shouldice Park to St. Patrick’s Island

From remote rapids to urban rivers, the Calgary region provides a great variety of ways to love your kayaking trip. Locals love to combine outdoor fun with the excitement of the city by making the run between Shouldice Park and St. Patrick’s Island. 

Kayak, canoe, and rafting enthusiasts can also take heart that the law forbids the use of motorized craft on the Bow and Elbow rivers within Calgary. This ensures the safest possible surroundings for your city kayaking adventure.

Everyone Loves Lake Louise

Known around the world for its vividly clear turquoise water, Lake Louise offers a stunning setting for your next kayaking adventure. While exploring the beautiful lake with all of its nooks and crannies, you can experience awe-inspiring alpine sights, including Victoria Glacier.

Situated near Banff National Park, it allows ready access to a wealth of outdoor adventures once your day on the water ends.

Make It Out to Maligne Lake

Another lake popular with kayakers and other visitors, Maligne Lake at Jasper National Park offers a 14 mile long water route to explore magnificent Rocky Mountain scenery. Its remote location, with three campgrounds only accessible by motorized craft, ensures that you will experience quiet serenity as you glide along the surface.

Although a long five hour trip from Calgary itself, many consider the journey well worth it as a day trip or vacation diversion. 

Other Fun Things to Do On or Near the Water

Kayaking provides a thrilling and fun, or relaxing and serene, experience depending on where you go. To enjoy your trip to its fullest potential, however, check out other fun activities on or near the water, including:

  • Freshwater surfing on the Alberta River. Yes, this is real.

  • Try stand up paddleboarding for a different, yet fun experience

  • Take your fishing equipment with you when driving to your favorite spot. Nothing tops off a strenuous day of kayaking like a relaxing afternoon of fishing

  • You can theoretically swim almost anywhere that you can kayak, but note that many glacier fed lakes and streams will be too cold for comfort for most people. Sikome Lake provides one of several opportunities for warm water swimming

  • Nearby Quarry Lake has areas perfect for kayaking and canoeing but also features a sandy beach at the shallow end. Though most find its waters cold for swimming, relaxing on the beach is a popular pastime. 

Make sure and check out all of the fun kayaking and related water activities to ensure that your Calgary outdoor adventure is as exciting and as fun as possible. Reach out to Paddle Station's friendly staff to learn more. Call (403) 456-2418 or email for more information. 


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